Ask for a dream (3)

03 January 2019
‘Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.’

The story of Joseph teaches that success can cause others to mistreat us. Not everyone will celebrate our successes, including some of those closest to us. When Jesus’ fame began to spread, the first people to reject Him were from the town He grew up in. It caused Him to say: ‘A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his hometown and in his own home’ (Matthew 13:57 NCV). The Bible tells us that Joseph’s brothers envied him (take a look at Genesis 37:11). Envy is often at the root of people’s negative reactions to our success. When God blesses us, those who feel left out may target us. Some people may feel more worthy and deserving of the success, and feel that our blessing came at their expense. That’s how Cain felt when he murdered his brother Abel. That’s how King Saul felt when David killed Goliath and the people sang, ‘Saul has killed thousands of his enemies, but David has killed tens of thousands’ (1 Samuel 29:5 NCV). But envy is like a boomerang; it comes back to hurt the one who throws it. When their father threw a party to celebrate the homecoming of his prodigal son, the older brother said, ‘All these years I’ve been slaving for you…you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. (Luke 15:29 NIV). He made three mistakes we often make. First, he compared himself to his brother. Second, he exposed his brother’s sins and failings. And third, he failed to appreciate the extent of his father’s love for him and the blessings his father had given him. Let’s try and be people who avoid comparison, refuse to expose other people’s weaknesses, and appreciate everything God has given us already.

 

What Now?

Next time you feel envy when viewing other people’s posts on social media, immediately pray that God would help you deal with those feelings.

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